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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble of Sweet and Florence Peak

An old favorite a little traverse from Sweet peak to Florence with just enough snow cover.

  • Mon, Mar 20, 2023
  • Florence Peak (winter)
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  •  The Small Parking Area is open  again with room for about 6 cars. Overflow parking is along the  South side of the Road just outside the park. A NP pass is required at both locations The trail is in good shape,  We used Microspikes from the icy creek crossing 1.3 miles in, at 3100'. We had good snow coverage from 3400 on up. One or two bare spots on wind blow ridges, Max depth of 200cm to 120 cm off  the summit of Florence  80 cm on Alki Crest.

    There was enough snow coverage to skirt along the west side of the large boulder field shortly after leaving Alki crest on the descent. That is  alot of fun we found great snow conditions in the open area, it is the rare year this is safe to do. There are huge boulders and voids so proceed with caution and avoid the temptation to venture to far into the open area.  We went from about 4200 ft to 4000ft. then reconnected to the trail. It would be possible to continue off trail and reconnect with the trail at around 3600 ft. The snow coverage was minimal in the trees so we opted not to do that.  There was another open spot in that area that may have worked well.

C-C 9hr 20min   5 1/2 hrs up 2 hrs 40 min  Down.   We where on the Summit of  Sweet Peak  at 11pm with a 15 minute break.   The False Summit of Florence at 1 pm.  With a 1hr break while 4 in the group climbed the true summit of Florence, the rest enjoyed a break with high cloud cover,  Mount Rainier covered above 9k ft. Good views of the surrounding peaks and the lowlands to the Puget Sound, a pleasant surprise given the forecast.

From the Carbon River in the NW corner of MRNP our route took us South up the West Boundary  trail between the NP and NF. Around 3800 ft we headed  East to the saddle South of Sweet Peak, then North up the ridge to Sweet Peak. We then found our way South along the Beautiful ridge system to Florence Peak. We completed our little traverse by returning NW via Alki Crest and down the boundary trail.